Ford Motor Co has confirmed it will launch eight new vehicles in India by the middle of the decade as it plans to become a major player in one of the automotive world’s fastest growing markets.

Ford Asia Pacific and Africa president, Joe Hinrichs, announced the commitment to the sub-continent during a presentation in New Delhi where he revealed the company’s plans.

“As we have seen from the spectacular early success of the Ford Figo, more and more Indian consumers appreciate the fuel efficient, economical, high quality, safe, and fun-to-drive vehicles that Ford offers,” Mr Hinrichs said.

Ford’s current line up in India consists of the Figo, Fiesta (different to the Australian version), Ikon and Endeavour.

After just 25 weeks on sale, Ford India has sold more than 30,000 units of the sub-compact Figo and has been exporting it to South Africa since May.

Ford India president and managing director, Michael Boneham, confirmed the domestically manufactured Figo would be exported to 50 new markets from next year, including Mexico, North Africa and the Middle East.

Ford anticipates sales in its Asia Pacific and Africa region – in which Australia is a comparatively small player – to account for around 70 percent of the brand’s global growth in the next decade. It is predicting sales will increase from 16 million units in 2009 to 35 million in 2018.

Sales in India alone have increased at an average annual rate of 17 percent over the past five years, and more than 10 million people in that market are expected to upgrade from two to four wheels in the next few years.

Mr Hinrichs said Ford’s focus for the region was fixed on meeting the increasing demand for its low-cost vehicles.

“Introducing eight new vehicles by the middle of the decade is an ambitious plan that will have tremendous impact on our manufacturing operations, supply chain, dealers and employees. As part of our better plan for India, we are working today to make sure the value chain is ready for the demands we will place on it in the years to come,” he said.